Max Verstappen says he is not “dreaming” of becoming Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One team-mate.
The Dutchman, alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, is among the drivers hoping to dethrone five-time world champion Hamilton.
The Mercedes driver looks set to clinch a sixth title this year. With six races remaining, Hamilton boasts a 65-point lead to second-placed team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the standings.
Hamilton is also 96 points ahead of Leclerc, despite the fact Ferrari have won all of the last three races, while Verstappen is also sat on 200 after 15 rounds of the season.
The Brit has only been victorious twice in the last seven events but still has a commanding lead to his rivals.
Mercedes are therefore set to clinch their seventh successive double titles, having dominated the sport in the turbo hybrid engine era.
There have been suggestions Mercedes could look to maintain their monopoly by bringing Verstappen into their garage at the expense of Bottas.
The Finn, however, has signed on with the Silver Arrows for a fourth straight season to take him until the end of the 2020 season.
That is the same time that 21-year-old Verstappen – who has claimed seven wins in three-and-three-quarter seasons with Red Bull – is out of contract.
Verstappen is the youngest ever Grand Prix winner in F1 history and is widely touted as a future world champion, having shown sensational speed in his time on the grid.
But he was coy when asked whether he might want to link up with Hamilton after his time with Red Bull.
“If it happens, it happens, but it is not something I am dreaming of,” Verstappen said.
Red Bull have yet to confirm who they will put alongside the Dutchman in 2020.
He is currently partnered by Alexander Albon, who replaced Pierre Gasly mid-season after being promoted by junior team Toro Rosso, but no decision has been made over who will occupy the seat next year.
“It’s up to them [Red Bull’s hierarchy]. I’m not the deciding factor,” Verstappen said, weighing in on the matter ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
“I also don’t want to be at the end of the day, because I don’t mind who is sitting next to me.
“They are the bosses, so they decide. I’m not a deciding factor in that.”
Verstappen ran second fastest in Friday’s second practice session, behind Leclerc, who is seeking a third win in four races in Sochi.
Hamilton was fifth in FP1 and fourth in FP2 with their rivals showing superior pace so far.
Verstappen will however take a five-place grid penalty in Russia this weekend, having also started at the back in Italy due to an engine change penalty, recovering to finish eighth in spite of front wing damage suffered at Monza’s first corner on the opening lap.
The son of former F1 driver Jos, Max is looking to finish higher than fourth in the drivers’ standings for the first time in his career.